Current lab members

Front (L>R): Libby Berryman, Zhen Peng, Talia Sankari, David Baum, Lena Vincent, Melody Sain, Stephanie Colón-Santos. Back (L>R)Jacob Cosby, Jacob Yourich, Alex Plum, Brandon Dawning, Praful Gagrani.

Dr. David Baum (he/him/his)

Professor of Botany
Phone: (608) 267 – 5385
Twitter: @baobabbaum
Research Interests: Evolutionary and systematic theory; plant evolution and developmental genetics; origin of life; pollination biology

Curriculum Vitae


Dr. Zhen Peng (he/him/his)
Postdoctoral associate
Ph.D. Evolution, Ecology and Population Biology 2019
Research Interests: Evolution before genes; Models for the emergence of life from chemical reaction networks





Dr. Stephanie Colón-Santos
Postdoctoral Associate
Ph.D. Chemistry 2019
Research Interests: Prebiotic chemistry; The emergence of autocatalytic behavior in messy chemical mixtures

Praful Gagrani (he/him/his)
Graduate Student – Physics
Research Interests: Energy, information, and the emergence of life







Lena Vincent (she/her/hers)
Graduate Student – Astrobiology and Prebiotic Chemistry
Twitter: @lenanvincent
Research Interests: Artificial life; prebiotic chemistry; experimental evolution





Brandon Dawning (he/him/his)
Undergraduate Student – Biology





Alex Plum (he/him/his)
Undergraduate Student – Engineering Physics  & Math